Tourist inflow increased by 4 pc

The infamous gang-rape of a young woman in the national capital and the outrage over it may have sent shockwaves around the world last year, but it has not affected the inflow of foreign tourists in the first 10 months after the brutal incident.

The Ministry of Tourism has recorded four per cent growth in foreign tourist arrivals between January to October this year even as a British woman and a Swiss couple were attacked by criminals in two separate incidents during the period, prompting many countries to issue travel advisories for the safety of their citizens travelling to India.

In March, a British woman suffered critical injuries after she jumped off a hotel’s balcony allegedly to escape a molestation bid in Agra district of Uttar Pradesh.

The police later arrested the owner of the hotel based on a complaint from the victim. Only a week later, a Swiss woman was allegedly gang-raped at a secluded spot near Datia town, about 75 km from Gwalior.

The victim, on a cycling trip from Orchha to Agra with her husband, was camping in Jhadia village when the incident took place. The alleged offenders also beat up the victim’s husband.

Both the incidents took place at a time when the memory of gruesome gang-rape of a medical student in Delhi was still fresh in the minds of the people.

There were also apprehensions in various quarters that such incidents might have a bearing on in-bound tourism.

Contrary to such perceptions, a tourism ministry data indicates that 53.30 lakh tourists visited the country from abroad between January and October this year, contributing to the growth in foreign tourist arrivals by four per cent compared to that of last year.

A total of 51.24 lakh tourists visited India from abroad between January and October in 2012, according to the ministry.

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